Jordan fears refugee exodus if Syrian regime falls

Updated 18 January 2013
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Jordan fears refugee exodus if Syrian regime falls

AMMAN: Jordan’s prime minister says the kingdom will shut its border with Syria in case of violence or a mass exodus of refugees if President Bashar Assad’s regime collapses.
Abdullah Ensour’s remarks to reporters on Thursday reflect concerns of resources-barren Jordan, which is already hosting 285,000 Syrian refugees and has exhausted its meager health care, education, water and energy resources.
Ensour says that rather than taking in another “surge in the number of Syrian refugees when the regime collapses,” Jordan would dispatch special forces to “secure safe havens for the Syrians inside their country.”
Ensour did not speculate on the prospects of the fall of Syria’s strongman but said Jordan has had “no contacts” with Assad’s regime in recent weeks.


Iranian navy mounts new defense system on warship

Updated 12 min 55 sec ago
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Iranian navy mounts new defense system on warship

  • The US military’s Central Command confirms it has seen increased Iranian naval activity
  • Iran has developed a large domestic weapons industry to achieve self-sufficiency

DUBAI: Iran’s navy has mounted a locally built advanced defensive weapons system on one of its warships for the first time, the Iranian navy chief was quoted as saying on Saturday, as tensions mount with the US military in the Gulf.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed earlier this month it held war games in the Gulf, saying they were aimed at “confronting possible threats” by enemies.
The US military’s Central Command confirmed it had seen increased Iranian naval activity, extending to the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway for oil shipments the Revolutionary Guards have threatened to block.
Iran has been furious over US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program and re-impose sanctions on Tehran.
Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi “reiterated that coastal and sea testing of the short range defense Kamand system were concluded successfully, and said this system was mounted ... on a warship and will be mounted on a second ship soon,” the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported,
The Kamand has been dubbed the “Iranian Phalanx” after an automated machine gun produced by US firm Raytheon whose heavy bullets shred incoming missiles.
Unable to import many weapons because of international sanctions and arms embargoes, Iran has developed a large domestic weapons industry to achieve self-sufficiency in producing military equipment, and often reports on its development of arms which it says are comparable with advanced Western systems.